Preview: Manchester City v Brighton

Champions Manchester City will look to keep up their pursuit of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table when they face an unpredictable Brighton & Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Premier League
Date: 29 September 2018
Game week 7
Kick-off: 16:00 (GMT+2), 12:00 Saturday HKT
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: L. Mason
Assistants: M. Wilkes, M. McDonough
Fourth official: O. Langford

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Man City 11 6 2 3
Brighton 11 3 2 6

Previous encounter:

Manchester City 3-1 Brighton 09/05/2018 (Premier League)
Manchester City scorers: Danilo (16′), Bernardo Silva (34′), Fernandinho (72′)
Brighton scorer: 20′ L. Ulloa (20′)

Players to watch:

With six goals in eight appearances in all competitions in 2018/19, Sergio Aguero shows no sign of slowing down and remains City’s most dangerous goal-scorer. The Argentina striker was rested for the mid-week League Cup victory over Oxford United, and will be sharp and raring to go at the Etihad.

At the age of 35, Glenn Murray’s striking instincts remain razor sharp, scoring four goals in six appearances for Brighton. The veteran is a real goal-poacher who seems to get himself into scoring positions at an unerring rate. Though his opportunities to score may be limited on Saturday, he will be a threat if City switch off at the back.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Citizens have been in very good form in the league having picked up five wins and a draw in their opening six matches.

A 1-1 stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanderers came as a surprise though they soon bounced back. However, a home loss to Olympique Lyonnais earlier this month did dent the aura of invincibility that accompanies City.

With that said, manager Pep Guardiola is hungry to win the EPL once again as he looks to emulate the top sides in world football.

He was reported on FourFourTwo as saying: “The first priority is the Premier League. That is the nicest one.

“When I see for example three teams like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus that won seven leagues in 10 years, they show me they are the best teams.”

Meanwhile, Brighton have been in steady but unspectacular form so far this season. A victory over Manchester United in late August has been followed by two draws and two defeats in the EPL.

A loss last weekend to Tottenham Hotspur dented confidence, however, boss Chris Hughton is confident his team can learn from their mistakes.

He said: “We will go through the game again and pick things out we could have done better but it’s very difficult against the level of the players you are up against.”

Team news:

Danilo is available after making his return from injury against Oxford in the League Cup. Phil Foden could retain his place after starring for City in mid-week. Benjamin Mendy is likely to remain out with a foot injury and Kevin De Bruyne is not available due to a knee injury.

Brighton have virtually a full strength squad to call upon though influential midfielder Pascal Gross as well as Jose Izquierdo’s participation is questionable.

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